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JimiWikman

WordPress User Survey Data for 2015-2017

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For many years, we’ve invited folks to tell us how they use WordPress by filling out an annual survey. In the past, interesting results from this survey have been shared in the annual State of the Word address. This year, for the first time, the results of the 2017 survey are being published on WordPress News, along with the results of the 2015 and 2016 survey.

So that information from the survey doesn’t reveal anything that respondents might consider private, we do not publish a full export of the raw data. We’d love to make this information as accessible as possible, though, so if you have a suggestion for an OS project or tool we can put the data into that allows people to play with it that still protects individual response privacy, please leave a comment on this post!

Major Groups

This survey features multiple groups, dividing respondents at the first question:

Which of the following best describes how you use WordPress? (Mandatory)

Those who selected “I’m a designer or developer, or I work for a company that designs/develops websites; I use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others. (This might include theme development, writing plugins, or other custom work.)” were served questions from what we’ll call the “WordPress Professionals” group.

This “WordPress Professionals” group is further divided into WordPress Company and WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist groups, based on how the respondent answered the question, “Which of the following best describes your involvement with WordPress? (2015) / Do you work for a company, or on your own? (2016-17).”

Those who selected “I own, run, or contribute to a blog or website that is built with WordPress.” were served questions in what we’re calling the “WordPress Users” group.

The relevant survey group is noted in each table below. In the case of questions that were served to different groups in 2015 but then served to all respondents in 2016 and 2017, the group responses from 2015 have been consolidated into one set of data for easier comparison between years.

Survey results

Jump to answers from WordPress Professionals

Jump to answers from WordPress Users

Jump to answers from All Respondents

Which of the following best describes how you use WordPress? (Mandatory)

2015 2016 2017
Number of responses (since this question was mandatory, the number of responses here is the total number for the survey) 45,995 15,585 16,029
I’m a designer or developer, or I work for a company that designs/develops websites; I use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others. (This might include theme development, writing plugins, other custom work.) 26,662 58% 8,838 57% 9,099 57%
I own, run, or contribute to a blog or website that is built with WordPress. 16,130 35% 5,293 34% 5,625 35%
Neither of the above. 3,204 7% 1,460 9% 1,306 8%

WordPress Professionals

Which of the following best describes your involvement with WordPress? (Mandatory, 2015) / Do you work for a company, or on your own? (Mandatory, 2016-17)

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses 26,699 8,838 9,101
My primary job is working for a company or organization that uses WordPress. 9,505 36% 3,529 40% 3,660 40%
My primary job is as a self-employed designer or developer that uses WordPress. 9,310 35% 3,188 36% 3,440 38%
I earn money from part-time or occasional freelance work involving WordPress. 5,954 22% 1,633 18% 1,590 17%
Work that I do involving WordPress is just a hobby, I don’t make money from it. 1,930 7% 491 6% 411 5%

How does your company or organization work with WordPress?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 9,342
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations. 7,772 27%
Develop or customize themes. 5,404 19%
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for my own use. 4,733 16%
Host websites for customers. 4,397 15%
Develop or distribute plugins. 3,181 11%
Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress. 1,349 5%
Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps. 1,127 4%
Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core. 914 3%
Other Option 182  1%
Number of responses 3,457 3,598
We make websites for others. 2,695 24% 2,722 23%
We make websites for ourselves. 2,355 21% 2,470 21%
We develop or customize themes. 1,866 16% 1,910 16%
We host websites for others. 1,564 14% 1,595 14%
We develop or distribute plugins. 1,283 11% 1,342 11%
We provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress. 581 5% 631 5%
We sponsor and/or attend WordCamps. 561 5% 579 5%
We contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core. 444 4% 468 4%
Other Option 98 1% 96 1%

How would you describe the business of your typical client(s)? (2015) / How would you describe the business of your typical client/customer? (2016, 2017)

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 9,154 3,317 3,498
Small business 6,893 32% 2,398 31% 2,510 31%
Large business or Enterprise 3,635 17% 1,361 18% 1,447 18%
Non-profit 2,644 12% 934 12% 992 12%
Individual 2,600 12% 888 12% 1,022 12%
Education 2,344 11% 854 11% 966 12%
Website development (sub-contracting) 2,065 10% 637 8% 677 8%
Government 1,410 6% 524 7% 552 7%
Other Option 127 1% 66 1% 64 1%

How does your company or organization use WordPress when developing websites? (2015) / When making websites, how does your company or organization use WordPress? (2016, 2017)

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 9,078 3,369 3,552
Mostly as a content management system (CMS) 6,361 70% 2,482 74% 2,640 74%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS 1,222 13% 370 11% 383 11%
Mostly as a blogging platform 721 8% 137 4% 129 4%
Mostly as an application framework 629 7% 303 9% 303 9%
Other Option 145 2% 78 2% 97 3%

How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 9,054 3,302 3,473
A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface. 5,651 62% 2,025 61% 2,105 61%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added. 2,230 25% 799 24% 905 26%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download. 756 8% 302 9% 298 9%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized. 417 5% 177 5% 165 5%

Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites has your company or organization built?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 8,801
200 + 1,074 12%
51 – 200 1,721 20%
21 – 50 1,718 20%
11 – 20 1,284 15%
6 – 10 1,109 13%
2 – 5 1,418 16%
1 390 4%
0 87 1%
Number of responses 3,358 3,540
Thousands. 291 9% 331 9%
Hundreds. 770 23% 894 25%
Fewer than a hundred. 1,144 34% 1,177 33%
Just a few, but they are really great. 926 28% 896 25%
Prefer not to answer. 228 7% 242 7%

How many person-hours (of your company’s work) does the typical site take to complete?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 9,091 3,353 3,522
More than 200 939 10% 309 9% 325 9%
100 – 200 1080 12% 329 10% 367 10%
60 – 100 1541 17% 527 16% 513 15%
40 – 60 1854 20% 583 17% 620 18%
20 – 40 2066 23% 691 21% 685 19%
Fewer than 20 1611 18% 479 14% 519 15%
Prefer not to answer (2016, 2017) 436 13% 493 14%

Roughly what percentage of your company or organization’s output is based around WordPress (as opposed to other platforms or software)?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Company
Number of responses 8,950 3,345 3,503
100 % 1,089 12% 438 13% 480 14%
90 % 1,043 12% 417 12% 459 13%
80 % 955 11% 367 11% 424 12%
70 % 831 9% 305 9% 344 10%
60 % 534 6% 246 7% 226 6%
50 % 973 11% 335 10% 338 10%
40 % 613 7% 245 7% 202 6%
30 % 877 10% 335 10% 310 9%
20 % 806 9% 242 7% 280 8%
10 % 1,039 12% 344 10% 348 10%
0 % 190 2% 72 2% 92 3%

In which of the following ways do you work with WordPress?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 17,009 5,221 5,425
Build/design and/or maintain websites or blogs for other people, companies, or organizations 15,342 34% 4,795 34% 5,064 34%
Develop or customize themes 10,549 24% 2,997 21% 3,021 20%
Host websites for customers 8,142 18% 2,466 17% 2,728 18%
Develop or distribute plugins 4,125 9% 1,395 10% 1,416 9%
Provide educational resources to help others to use WordPress 3,276 7% 1,187 8% 1,308 9%
Sponsor and/or attend WordCamps 1,559 4% 648 5% 724 5%
Contribute bug reports and/or patches to WordPress core 1,107 2% 381 3% 393 3%
Other Option 389 1% 243 2% 299 2%

How would you describe the business of your typical client(s)?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,863 5,151 5,353
Small business 14,185 35% 4,342 35% 4,622 36%
Individual 8,513 21% 2,581 21% 2,583 20%
Non-profit 6,585 16% 2,004 16% 2,113 16%
Website development (sub-contracting) 4,301 11% 1,258 10% 1,216 9%
Education 3,458 8% 1,049 8% 1,139 9%
Large business or Enterprise 2,391 6% 805 6% 857 7%
Government 1,150 3% 300 2% 329 3%
Other Option 173 0% 101 1% 99 1%

How do you use WordPress in your development?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,768 5,145 5,372
Mostly as a content management system (CMS) 11,754 70% 3,641 71% 3,959 74%
About half the time as a blogging platform and half the time as a CMS 2,825 17% 812 16% 721 13%
Mostly as an application framework 1,012 6% 343 7% 344 6%
Mostly as a blogging platform 992 6% 246 5% 226 4%
Other Option 185 1% 105 2% 122 2%

How much is your average WordPress site customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,699 5,131 5,317
A lot of work has been done, the front end is unrecognizable, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface. 9,457 57% 2,837 55% 2,998 56%
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added. 5,526 33% 1,694 33% 1,781 34%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as the original download. 977 6% 341 7% 310 6%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything (including the admin) has been customized. 739 4% 261 5% 228 4%

How many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2015) / Roughly how many currently active WordPress sites have you built? (2016, 2017)

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,690
200 + 514 3%
51 – 200 1,728 10%
21 – 50 3,000 18%
11 – 20 3,146 19%
6 – 10 3,405 20%
2 – 5 3,838 23%
1 698 4%
0 361 2%
Number of responses 5,165 5367
Thousands. 110 2% 104 2%
Hundreds. 603 12% 713 13%
Fewer than a hundred. 2,264 44% 2,457 46%
Just a few, but they are really great. 1,871 36% 1,813 34%
Prefer not to answer. 319 6% 280 5%

Roughly what percentage of your working time is spent working with WordPress?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,658 5,039 5,241
100 % 949 6% 459 9% 461 9%
90 % 1,300 8% 527 10% 540 10%
80 % 1,784 11% 637 13% 711 14%
70 % 1,850 11% 608 12% 627 12%
60 % 1,313 8% 438 9% 465 9%
50 % 2,095 13% 612 12% 639 12%
40 % 1,438 9% 391 8% 384 7%
30 % 2,076 12% 530 11% 511 10%
20 % 1,743 10% 445 9% 429 8%
10 % 1,819 11% 342 7% 419 8%
0 % 291 2% 52 1% 55 1%

How many hours of your work does the typical site take to complete? (2015) / How many hours of work does your typical WordPress project take to launch? (2016, 2017)

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Freelancer/Hobbyist
Number of responses 16,670 5,164 5,378
More than 200 503 3% 222 4% 245 5%
100 – 200 973 6% 386 7% 393 7%
60 – 100 2,277 14% 788 15% 815 15%
40 – 60 3,896 23% 1,153 22% 1,216 23%
20 – 40 6,068 36% 1,487 29% 1,582 29%
Fewer than 20 2,953 18% 712 14% 751 14%
Prefer not to answer 418 8% 376 7%

Which of the following have you done with WordPress?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Professional (Company/Freelancer/Hobbyist)
Number of responses 20,687
I’ve written a theme from scratch. 11,894 25%
I’ve written a plugin. 9,719 21%
I’ve answered a question in the WordPress forum. 8,805 19%
I’ve attended a WordPress meetup. 4,062 9%
I’ve submitted a WordPress bug report. 4,062 9%
I’ve attended a WordCamp. 3,571 8%
I’ve contributed to WordPress documentation. 1,778 4%
Other Option 1,739 4%
I’ve contributed a WordPress core patch. 1,055 2%

What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses 22,718 7,891 8,267
Easy/simple/user-friendly 9,450 42% 3,454 44% 3,852 47%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes 8,601 38% 3,116 39% 3,555 43%
Community/support/documentation/help 3,806 17% 1,211 15% 1,340 16%
Free/open/open source 2,291 10% 802 10% 908 11%
Popular/ubiquitous 249 1% 86 1% 187 2%

 What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses 21,144 7,294 7,691
Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards) 6,122 29% 2,194 30% 2,187 28%
Security/vulnerabilities/hacks 2,321 11% 712 10% 829 11%
Updates 1,544 7% 422 6% 508 7%
Nothing/I don’t know/can’t think of anything 1,276 6% 344 5% 476 6%
Speed/performance/slow/heavy 1,196 6% 644 9% 516 7%

WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress Professional
Number of responses (this question was not asked in the 2015 survey) 8,672 9,059
Agree 7551 87% 7836 87%
Prefer not to answer 754 9% 795 9%
Disagree 370 4% 428 5%

WordPress Users

Which of the following describes how you use WordPress?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 15,169 5,043 5,521
My personal blog (or blogs) uses WordPress. 9,395 36% 3,117 36% 3,424 36%
My company or organization’s website is built with WordPress software. 7,480 29% 2,519 29% 2,841 30%
I have a hobby or side project that has a website built with WordPress. 6,112 23% 1,973 23% 2,200 23%
I write (or otherwise work) for an online publication that uses WordPress. 2,329 9% 806 9% 821 9%
Other Option 872 3% 234 3% 288 3%

Who installed your WordPress website?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 15,055 5,020 5,523
I did. 11,216 66% 3,659 73% 4,129 75%
My hosting provider 2,236 13% 667 13% 767 14%
An external company 909 5% 182 4% 178 3%
An internal web person/team or a colleague 874 5% 178 4% 191 3%
A friend or family member 787 5% 192 4% 172 3%
I don’t know 502 3% 145 3% 87 2%
Other Option 345 2% n/a n/a n/a n/a

How much has the site been customized from the original WordPress installation?

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 14,789 4,997 5,494
There’s a different theme and some plugins have been added. 7,465 50% 2,337 47% 2,660 48%
A lot of work has been done, the site itself is unrecognizable from the original theme, but the Dashboard still looks like the usual WordPress interface. 4,715 32% 1,707 34% 1,872 34%
Not at all, it’s still pretty much the same as it was when I started out. 1,841 12% 635 13% 673 12%
You’d never know this was a WordPress installation, everything has been customized. 768 5% 321 6% 290 5%

What’s the best thing about WordPress?*

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 14,328 4,613 5,076
Easy/simple/user-friendly 7,391 52% 2,276 49% 2,511 49%
Customizable/extensible/modular/plugins/themes 4,219 29% 1,569 34% 1,632 32%
Free/open/open source 1,586 11% 493 11% 538 11%
Community/support/documentation/help 1,085 8% 388 8% 458 9%
Popular/ubiquitous 223 2% 74 2% 48 1%

What’s the most frustrating thing about WordPress?*

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 13,681 4,287 4,758
Plugins & themes (abandoned/conflicts/coding standards) 2,531 19% 1,183 28% 1,300 27%
Customization/design/look/template 1,273 9% 381 9% 408 9%
Code/coding/PHP 931 7% 306 7% 277 6%
Updates 926 7% 209 5% 296 6%
Security/vulnerabilites/hacks 785 6% 255 6% 292 6%

WordPress is as good as, or better than, its main competitors.

2015 2016 2017
Group: WordPress User
Number of responses 5,026 5,498
Agree 4,038 80% 4,462 81%
Prefer not to answer 737 15% 782 14%
Disagree 254 5% 255 5%

All Respondents

Can you (truthfully!) say “I make my living from WordPress”?

2015 2016 2017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups from 2015; this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017) 42,236 14,906 15,616
Not really, but I do get some or all of my income as a result of working with WordPress. 16,607 39% 5,408 36% 5,702 37%
Yes. 9,635 23% 4,791 32% 5,033 32%
No. 15,995 38% 4,713 32% 4,882 31%

Which devices do you access WordPress on?

2015 2016 2017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups from 2015; this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017) 42,433
Web 40,503 95%
Android phone 15,396 36%
iPhone 12,353 29%
iPad 11,748 28%
Android tablet 9,223 22%
Desktop app, like MarsEdit 6,018 14%
Other Option 1837 4%
Number of responses (this question was not broken out by group in 2016-2017) 14,840 15,597
Web browser on a desktop or laptop 14,160 54% 15,052 55%
Web browser on a mobile device (tablet or phone) 7,952 30% 8,248 30%
An app on a mobile device (table or phone) 3,309 13% 3,311 12%
A desktop app like MarsEdit 517 2% 498 2%
Other Option 282 1% 240 1%

WordPress now updates minor & security releases automatically for you. Check all that apply: (question not asked in 2016, 2017)

2015 2016 2017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (combination of all three groups) 39,726
I love auto-updates. 17,367 44%
I’d like to see auto-updates for plugins. 12,796 32%
Initially, I was nervous about auto updates. 11,868 30%
Auto updates still make me nervous. 10,809 27%
Auto updates don’t make me nervous now. 10,708 27%
I’d like to see auto-updates for themes. 10,449 26%
I’d like to see auto updates for major versions of WordPress. 10,225 26%
This is the first I’ve heard of auto-updates. 8,660 22%
I hate auto-updates. 3,293 8%

What is your gender?*

2015 2016 2017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)
Number of responses 13,953 14,680
Male 10,978 78.68% 11,570 78.81%
Female 2,340 16.77% 2,511 21.70%
Prefer not to answer 601 4.31% 562 3.83%
Transgender 11 0.08% 8 0.05%
Nonbinary 8 0.06% 17 0.12%
Genderqueer 4 0.03% 3 0.02%
Androgynous 6 0.04% 5 0.03%
Fluid 3 0.02% 4 0.03%
Demimale 2 0.01% 0 0

Where are you located?

2015 2016 2017
Group: All respondents (This question was not asked in the 2015 survey.)
Number of responses 14,562 15,343
United States 3,770 25.89% 4,067 26.51%
India 1,456 10.00% 1,424 9.28%
United Kingdom 810 5.56% 900 5.87%
Germany 555 3.81% 729 4.75%
Canada 511 3.51% 599 3.90%
Australia 389 2.67% 460 3.00%
Italy 298 2.05% 356 2.32%
Netherlands 343 2.36% 350 2.28%
France 232 1.59% 283 1.84%
Bangladesh 257 1.76% 263 1.71%
Spain 271 1.86% 252 1.64%
Brazil 239 1.64% 251 1.64%
Pakistan 254 1.74% 240 1.56%
Indonesia 230 1.58% 226 1.47%
Iran, Islamic Republic of 190 1.30% 173 1.13%
Sweden 144 0.99% 173 1.13%
Nigeria 196 1.35% 172 1.12%
South Africa 193 1.33% 172 1.12%
Russian Federation 181 1.24% 151 0.98%
Poland 129 0.89% 137 0.89%
Romania 144 0.99% 132 0.86%
Switzerland 122 0.84% 130 0.85%
Philippines 92 0.63% 125 0.81%
China 136 0.93% 123 0.80%
Austria 89 0.61% 122 0.80%
Ukraine 105 0.72% 118 0.77%
Denmark 107 0.73% 114 0.74%
Greece 120 0.82% 114 0.74%
Portugal 94 0.65% 109 0.71%
Vietnam 101 0.69% 108 0.70%
Mexico 94 0.65% 105 0.68%
Nepal 76 0.52% 97 0.63%
Ireland 72 0.49% 94 0.61%
Israel 78 0.54% 94 0.61%
New Zealand 77 0.53% 91 0.59%
Finland 63 0.43% 90 0.59%
Turkey 91 0.62% 86 0.56%
Malaysia 91 0.62% 81 0.53%
Belgium 84 0.58% 79 0.51%
Norway 66 0.45% 79 0.51%
Argentina 65 0.45% 76 0.50%
Bulgaria 74 0.51% 72 0.47%
Japan 61 0.42% 68 0.44%
Thailand 69 0.47% 67 0.44%
Czech Republic 76 0.52% 66 0.43%
Serbia 89 0.61% 63 0.41%
Kenya 58 0.40% 62 0.40%
Colombia 39 0.27% 59 0.38%
Egypt 40 0.27% 52 0.34%

What is your age?

2015 2016 2017
Group: All Respondents
Number of responses (This question was not asked in 2015.) 14,944 15,636
60 and over 1,139 8% 1,641 11%
50-59 1,537 10% 1,996 13%
40-49 2,205 15% 2,643 17%
30-39 3,914 26% 3,972 25%
20-29 5,013 34% 4,444 28%
Under 20 1142 8% 941 6%

Thank you to everyone who made time to fill out the survey — we’re so happy you use WordPress, and we’re very grateful that you’re willing to share your experiences with us! Thanks also to everyone who spread the word about this survey, and to those of you who read all the way to the bottom of this post. 😉

*Text Field Questions: Each survey included some questions that could be answered only by filling out a text field. In the case of the questions “What is the best thing about WordPress?” and “What is the most frustrating thing about WordPress?” we listed the five most common responses, aggregated when applicable. In the case of the question “What is your gender?” in the 2016 and 2017 surveys, we aggregated responses as best we could. Responses meant to obscure respondents’ gender entirely are aggregated in “prefer not to answer.”

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